“Once you got a solar panel on a roof, energy is free. Once we convert our entire electricity grid to green and renewable energy, the cost of living goes down.”
The rising cost of electricity takes away a major chunk of everybody’s income. Electricity is, in fact, one of the most expensive necessities of modern times. But there’s a solution to save money on electricity and that solution is installing a solar panel for home.
Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity, and solar electricity is free. Having a rooftop solar system can drop your monthly electricity bill by 90% – we’re not kidding! Does this entice you to install a solar panel for home without further ado? Hold that thought!
Before you get a solar system installed on your rooftop, it’s important that you choose the right solar panels (modules) according to your power requirements. Confused? Don’t be! We will walk you through every single factor that you need to keep in mind while choosing a solar panel for home.
Installing a solar system is a once-in-a-lifetime investment since the right system will last for a minimum of 25 years. You get just one shot, so why not make it right?
Dive in, and by the end of this post, you’ll have all the information that’s needed to install the right solar panel for home.
Top 5 Factors To Consider When Choosing A Solar Panel For Home
#1. The available shadow-free area on your roof
A 1 KW solar system alone requires 100 sq. ft of area for installation. Hence, space availability is the first thing that installation companies focus on.
Besides, having a spacious rooftop isn’t enough. The rooftop should be shadow-free as well. For instance, if you’re planning to install a 4 KW rooftop solar system for your home, you require 400 sq. ft of shadow-free area.
Solar panels can produce maximum power only when sunlight falls directly on top of them. Which is why shadows from any surrounding objects are a hindrance.
A solar panel for home produces electricity from sunlight between 9 AM to 4 PM. The peak hours where the energy generation is maximum are 11 AM to 2 PM. Lurking shadows during these hours will reduce the efficiency of the system.
So, is there no solution if the space is limited and there are shadows nearby? Well, to an extent, there’s a solution – the type of solar cells. Let’s understand “how” in the upcoming section.
#2. The type of solar cells used to make the solar panels
There are three major kinds of solar cells used to make solar panels – polycrystalline solar cells, monocrystalline solar cells, and bifacial solar cells.
- Polycrystalline solar cells have an efficiency of 16-17%.
- Monocrystalline solar cells have an efficiency of 19-20%.
- The efficiency of bifacial solar cells can be up to 22%.
Naturally, higher-efficiency monocrystalline solar cells are one solution for rooftops with shadow issues to an extent. They produce more power than poly cells.
In fact, their higher efficiency is one of the reasons that they’re preferred in places that receive less irradiation.
#3. Your budget
Solar energy is free but solar systems aren’t. They do require an upfront investment. Although they won’t drill a hole in your pockets (especially, considering the amount of money they will save you in the long run), they still do require investment.
A polycrystalline solar panel for home is more affordable than a mono panel. Besides, the Indian government also offers subsidies for Made-in-India solar panels. Since it’s the poly panels that are currently made within the country, you get a subsidy on them.
Besides, elite solar installers offer multiple easy EMI schemes to make things more affordable for their customers.
#4. The quality of the solar panels
When we talk about quality, it’s impossible to not talk about the brands. Premium brands offer the best quality solar panels that have a lower temperature coefficient.
Solar panels get overheated. Over a period of time, their energy production drops due to overheating. This is why premium brands produce such panels that have a lower temperature coefficient. It means that these panels perform a lot better and lose very little efficiency as they age.
#5. Your power consumption
It’s probably an underrated factor when it comes to choosing a solar panel for home, but, in the end, it makes a major impact.
Let’s dig deeper and explain its significance.
A 1 KW solar system produces roughly 120 units of electricity a month. Now, if your power consumption on average is 600 units/month, you need a 5 KW solar system.
Since it’s your power consumption that matters in the end, the size of the solar system will be a crucial factor when it comes to a reduction in the electricity bill after the installation of a solar system.
That being said, when every single factor we’ve enlisted is taken into consideration, that’s when you find the ideal solar panel for home.
Now, we have a bonus section just for you that’ll help you with the basics of everything you need to know about going solar in India. Dive in!
Basics you should know before going solar in India
- India falls in the northern hemisphere. Hence, a solar panel for home should ideally face South because that’s the direction that receives the maximum sunlight.
- The tilt angle for solar panels in South India is about 10 degrees. As you move towards the North, the angle increases. It’s above 20 degrees in North India.
- The government offers a subsidy on on-grid rooftop solar systems for homes and housing societies.
- There’s no subsidy provision for solar system installation in the commercial sector.
- Bifacial social panels are not used for rooftop solar installations. They are used for ground-mounted solar installations.
- For solar systems up to 3 KW, the subsidy on a solar panel for home is 40% of the L1 rates.
- For solar systems above 3 KW and up to 10 KW, the subsidy on a solar panel for home is 20% of the L1 rates.
- For housing societies, you will get a subsidy of 20% on L1 rates for solar systems up to 500 KW.
Fossil fuels will exhaust sooner than later. Besides, electricity generated by fossil fuels isn’t just expensive; it’s also toxic and polluting – it emits dangerous greenhouse gasses.
Whether it’s the floods in Bangalore and Pakistan or landslides in Himachal Pradesh, everything is born out of the emission of greenhouse gasses.
Needless to say, installing a solar panel for home is the only solution that we have in hand. If you do it now, you still have a chance of availing of the subsidy.
Once the government installs rooftop solar systems generating 4 GW of solar electricity from the residential sector, the subsidy will not be offered.
So, make hay while the sun shines!